Importing and Exporting Image File Formats

In addition to the object formats, form•Z includes the ability to import and export several image formats, namely, BMP, EPS, Illustrator, JPEG, PNG, QuickTime Image, Targa, and TIFF. Additional image formats may be available through QuickTime. The dialogs invoked when image files are imported or exported have been structured as uniformly as possible so that switching from one format to another should not require extensive adjustments. Like the object formats, the image file formats also share a number of identical import and export options and therefore their dialogs share a common format.



Common image import options

The dialogs invoked when opening or importing image files into form•Z have been structured consistently, as they share many common options. These common options are in the upper section of the dialog, while the lower section contains options specific to that format. When an option does not apply to a format, it is dimmed.


The common image file format import options.


Import As Modeling: This group of items controls how vector based images are imported.


Scale Factor: This group of items determines the X and Y scale that is applied to the vector image data when it is imported. The default is 1.0.


Display Resolution: This option sets the display resolution of imported smooth objects.


Replace Unavailable Fonts With: This is a menu that lists available fonts on the system form•Z is running on. If a file to be imported references a font that is not available, the font selected from this menu will be used as a substitute.


Common image export options

The common image file format export options.

The dialogs invoked for exporting image files also share common options, which are at their upper portion. The lower section contains format specific options. When an option does not apply to a certain format, it appears dimmed.


Platform: File formats that are exclusively ASCII always have the Platform pop up menu available. Selection of one of these options produces text files with line terminations that are acceptable by Apple’s Macintosh, DOS, or Windows, and UNIX computers respectively. Binary file formats that can be exported optimized for different platforms (i.e. TIFF) have this pop up menu available too.


Image Options: This group contains options that affect the export of images.


Include Background: If the current scene is exported as vector data, selecting this check box includes the background in the file. The background is a filled rectangle placed behind the entities shown on the screen. When this option is off, vector lines are exported without a background. In other words, deselecting this option exports the scene with a transparent background, which is desirable when a file is intended to be included on top of some other image. Note that pixel images always include the background when exported.


Include Preview: When this is on, a pixel based representation of the saved scene is included in the file. This image may be displayed as a preview of the content of a file, when the file is included by another application. This option is on by default for the formats that support it.


Export As Image Map: If this option is selected, the file is exported as a bitmap file.


The Line Weight menu.

Export As Vector/Polygons: If this option is selected, the file is exported as vector lines.


Line Weight: If the current scene is exported as vector data, all lines are assigned the line weight indicated in the pop up menu. The Hair Line option generates lines at the smallest resolution which a format can support. All other line weight options generate lines at the indicated thickness in points. One point is equal to 1/72 of an inch. The default is set to 0.5 point.